Photo courtesy Orange County Blues FC
IRVINE, Calif. – Orange County Blues FC announced on Friday the club had promoted Oliver Wyss to Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and Barry Venison to Head Coach.
Wyss will retain the title of General Manager and his expanded duties will include leadership of a new OC Blues Youth Academy and oversight of a significant expansion of the team’s front office staff and marketing activities. Wyss has been deeply involved in the Orange County soccer community since 1997. As the Director of the West Coast FC Boys Program, he has led the club to three US Youth Soccer National Championships. A significant number of the club's former players are currently competing at the collegiate level and professionally in the USL.
Venison will step into the role of Head Coach while retaining the position of Technical Director. Barry's sixteen year playing career in England began with Sunderland at the age of 17. During a six-year term with Liverpool, the team won the league in 1987-1988 and 1989-1990 and the FA Cup in 1989. At 33, he retired and became an expert analyst for the English television network ITV for 6 years before moving to the United States.
“Barry has been a mentor to the entire coaching staff and his experience and knowledge have been vital to the success of the team over the past 18 months," said Wyss. "I am looking forward to supporting him and the coaching staff as we lead the Blues forward into this exciting new chapter for the team.”
Currently in seventh place in the USL's Western Conference, the Blues play host to the LA Galaxy II on Saturday night at Anteater Stadium in Venison's first official game in charge. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT.